Breastfeeding Basics | Fit Pregnancy

Breastfeeding Basics

Extreme Makeover: Breastfeeding

Possibly the most shocking moment in the final season of The Sopranos didn't involve a murder or betrayal. Rather, it was the image of a glamorous woman nursing her infant--in front of others. Babes for Breastfeeding (, a nonprofit organization formed last year by a lawyer and a businesswoman who became lactation counselors, intends to inspire a cultural shift that makes scenes like that the norm in TV, movies and everyday life. "Women don't need more pressure and guilt," says co-founder Danielle Rigg, a mother of two in New York City.

How to Breastfeed: A Step-by-Step Guide with Photos

A mother nursing her baby—it's one of the most beautiful images nature could create. It's also one of the simplest. Breastfeeding is so natural, in fact, that we've been doing it for millions of years. (Indeed, without it, the human race wouldn't have survived.)

Best for Babes

A new non-profit organization, Babes for Breastfeeding™, is empowering new moms to breastfeed successfully, and to feel fabulous while doing it. Founded by mom-preneurs Bettina Forbes and Danielle Rigg, Babes for Breastfeeding™ and its for-profit funding arm, Best for Babes™, are aiming to make breastfeeding as mainstream as motherhood itself.

Breastfeeding Benefit for Older Moms

Having a first baby before age 25 lowers your risk for breast cancer, as many studies have shown. But if you wait until you're 25 or older to start your family, you may be able to offset the increased risk by nursing your baby.

Breast Buddy

When Alexia Scott Morrison's daughter, Audra, was born last November, Morrison wanted very much to breastfeed—but she wasn't sure she could. "I had extremely flat nipples," she explains. Hospital nurses gave her a nipple shield, a thin silicone device that can draw out a nipple and make it more accessible to a baby, but they didn't offer a lot of advice on how to use the shield. Audra tried to nurse but couldn't latch on successfully, even with the device.

A Smart Start

Experts agree: Breast milk is one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby. It's brimming with nutrients and antibodies that boost your newborn's immunity, aid digestion and promote brain development. An added bonus: Breastfeeding burns calories like crazy, helping you lose those pregnancy pounds faster. And it reduces your lifetime risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Breastfeeding Helps Your Heart

A large study found that women who breastfed for a lifetime total of at least two years had 19 percent fewer heart attacks later in life than mothers who had never breastfed. The likely reason: By turning fat that's put on during pregnancy into nutrients for the infant, breastfeeding lowers a mother's weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

The Truth About Nipple Confusion

Since "artificial nipples" require babies to use different tongue and mouth positioning than when nursing, they may interfere with breastfeeding. Here's the best advice on integrating pacifiers, bottles and breast shields:

Alternative Nursers

When research suggested that a toxic chemical might leach from polycarbonate plastic baby bottles into breast milk or formula, some parents began stocking up on glass bottles, even going so far as to buy used glass nursers on eBay. The chemical--bisphenol A, or BPA--acts like an artificial estrogen and has been implicated in developmental problems.

Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

It goes without saying: A healthy, well-fed mom produces better milk. Follow these simple tips from Eileen Behan, R.D., author of Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding (Villard), to nourish yourself while nourishing your little one.

• Eat like your baby. Stave off hunger pangs by eating a small meal or snack every two to three hours throughout the day. Don't let yourself get ravenous, or you'll be more likely to overindulge or reach for unhealthy foods.